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Even in sunniest Queensland, solar can’t run without big subsidies — so big they have to be kept secret

Solar is so competitive that the Queensland government has to pour in money to keep solar developers from running away.

How much money? Who knows. Whatever it is, it’s so big, the government has to keep it a secret.

Queensland taxpayers kept in dark as they prop up solar firms

The Queensland government is concealing its financial support for large-scale renewable energy projects, guaranteeing subsidies to solar companies that do not ­appear on balance sheets.

With an expert panel previously finding the government would need to spend between $500 million and $900m in subsidies to meet its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, there are now calls for spending to be made public.

The government has struck four deals with major solar-farm developers, under “contracts for difference”, with floor prices nominated for the sale of their ­energy in order to attract finance. When the market price falls below that threshold, the government has to make up the difference.

Luckily for Queensland taxpayers — who don’t know how to spot a good investment or the energy source of the future — the Government can spend their money for them. The Palaszuczuk government has hammered out such a good deal for Queenslanders that it can’t tell them what it is. Try to figure out a situation where the Taxpayers are winning, but the government doesn’t want to say so.

Two of the four lucky subsidy farms have capacities of 50MW and 15MW which will make a big difference to the states 14,000MW generation capacity. These two solar farms are expensive but token to the point of being nearly imaginary. As commenter Terrence says:

“Yesterday at 9 am Queensland was generating 7,000 MW from fossil fuels/hydro and 80 MW from windmills and solar panels which is typical of Qld’s power mix over the last couple of months.

…These [50 and 15MW] capacities are nameplate ratings only if they run 24/7/365, …. The real ratings of these two baby power projects is more like 12.5 MW and 3.75 MW respectively which are definitely not large scale. “

Queensland has quite a lot of coal, oil and gas, so the Queensland govt has decided to use…  something else. The state is aiming for a miraculous 50% renewables. Ponder the brave task ahead. To be 50% renewable, Queensland needs to generate more like 3,500MW on average with the unreliables, and that’s after capacity factors are taken into account.

 

Secret subsidies paid underhand,
By the government of sunny Queensland,
To give solar capacity,
An unearned veracity,
Which their climate-change masters demand.

–Ruairi

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Even in sunniest Queensland, solar can't run without big subsidies -- so big they have to be kept secret , 9.7 out of 10 based on 77 ratings

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129 comments to Even in sunniest Queensland, solar can’t run without big subsidies — so big they have to be kept secret

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    How is it possible to presume sanity and benevolence for the people who agreed to this policy?

    To me it looks to be a combination of insanity and malevolence with a strong intent to destroy the economy. At least that would be true in the universe in which I live. Perhaps they are living in an alternate reality in which wishes come true, there are no limits to spending, and contradictions are not a problem. Or perhaps not but they are acting as if they are.

    One thing we know, this will not end well.

    340

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Lionel,

      It’s already started.

      Look at the closure of the Kurri Kurri Aluminium smelter.

      Closed with the loss of over three thousand full and part time jobs.

      The local area from which that work place was easily accessible has a population of just over sixty thousand.

      Assuming that one third of the population worked, that makes job losses of 3 thousand in 20, or about 1 job in 7, gone because it was easier to shut down the plant, buy green leaning votes and save on having to go to the trouble of building new power plants.

      Politicians have learned that they can avoid the expense of building essential infrastructure like dams and power plants, transport, education and many smaller items and leave it for the next incumbent.

      The amount of money freed up for the PC things that buy votes is huge.

      In the meantime Australia’s future is diminished.

      We need better treatment from our elected governments and a more Truthful approach.

      KK

      231

      • #
        DaveR

        Keith, the loss of Kurri Kurri is obviously a tragic but direct response to the current renewables energy subsidy policies, and a national power system spiralling out of cost control. But globally speaking, aluminium is “solidified electricity”, and smelters are only generally built in places in the world where cheap power is available – such and hydro and nuclear. When Australia’s aluminium smelters were all built – cheap power was available, but not now. The Portland smelter in Victoria only survives because of an ancient power supply contract that guarantees brown coal power at less than 10c kWhr. And that contract is secret. The crunch is coming for the left Andrews government as their direct policies on power, and the closing of Hazelwood in particular, will close the Portland smelter as well.

        110

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Yes.
          Kurri was closed a relatively long time ago before power prices got too high, but it was easier for our leaders to close down 3,000 jobs than build new power plants.

          Coal fired power can still easily beat nuclear for price and hydro is only a pipedream since it would only be viable in conjunction with large dams providing for residential use.

          The method behind all this madness is not to replace ageing plant but reduce output as the generators lose capacity and close down manufacturing jobs to match the power production losses.

          Eventually we grind to a halt.

          In the last few decades we have seen politics become not the opportunity to serve but the opportunity to grab.

          KK

          100

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        And honesty, decency, public trust, public service, and doing the right thing are never part of the renewables equation.

        60

    • #
      PeterS

      Look on the bright side. When it all ends in tears the public will have to get back to common sense and logic after they have woken up (I hope).

      101

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Sorry Peter, but the Public has to be led to the Truth by a decent, responsible leader.

        Howard impressed me at the beginning but sold out to vote buying at the end. Abbott notably said ” global warming is carp”, but didn’t follow through and had funny ideas about buying votes by organising a super super support system for pregnant rich ladies. I suspect that he lost a lot of people there.

        I would like to see Abbott back, who else even looks like a leader.

        KK

        131

        • #
          PeterS

          I certainly would like him back but face reality the public by and large don’t.

          31

          • #

            The public don’t want Abbott? You mean the ABC doesn’t.

            The public are apathetic. Few pollies would survive the hate campaign the groupie-media dumped on him.

            272

            • #
              PeterS

              There are many reasons why people don’t like Abbott. The ABC factor is just one of many. In any case the issue is he’s not popular enough to make a comeback even in his own party. Of course that might change but it would require a huge shift within the party. I wish it could happen but I also wish I could eat as much as I like without gaining weight.

              31

            • #
              PeterS

              Oh I forgot to mention the real culprit for Abbott’s downfall – Turnbull of course. Need I say more?

              111

              • #
                Greg Cavanagh

                Nobody likes Turnbull, but he pulled some weight during the Night of the Longknives. He had to have made back room deals to get the support he needed. I’m sure they didn’t volunteer their support.

                The party must surely know that back-stabbing the current prime minister almost always loses the next election.

                90

            • #
              Latus Dextro

              The public are apathetic.

              Why??!! What would galvanise the majority of people who, like their contemporaries in New Zealand, appear adequately comfortable not to bother about almost anything that might jeopardise this state of social narcosis as evidenced by low voter turnout, atrophied critical thinking, compliance with diktat, addiction to mindless TV and news, and a lack of genuine curiosity except their Farce Book and Twattersphere faux-interactions? The disenchantment with politicians venality is of epic proportion, yet so is the sense of powerlessness and wider disinterest. Just like ‘Atlas Shrugged’ the populous incrementally and sequentially straitjacketed into poverty and impotence, resemble an elephant tethered by a thin string cord or the hapless frog, boiled to death.

              I’m afraid that it will take a real calamity to restore rationality. That’s what the League of Nations required. Their replacement, the United Nations (UN IPCC, UN ECOSOC, UNEP and the whole festering ideological edifice, show every sign of being no different. The meddlesome secular globalists, those incipient totalitarians must be removed before their cultural sitz-kreig dissolves into a multi-sided blitzkrieg.

              40

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      This is not “a subsidy” but a contact for difference.
      With a subsidy there would be a continuous flow of money from the taxpayer to the pockets of the PV solar mobs.
      In the Qld. case there would be a flow of money from the taxpayer into the pockets of the PV solar mobs ONLY when the price of electricity falls below the set point.
      The difference is that a subsidy means the developers hope to make lots of money when the price of electricity is high, and not so much IF electricity becomes cheaper. Whereas with a Contract for Difference it doesn’t matter to the ‘developer’ what the price is, he makes pots of money either way.
      The banks love the certainty and will lend the development costs.
      The politicians love the warm glow of “saving the planet” at no cost to themselves.
      The developer’s only problem is whether be buys a Lamborghini or a Maserati.
      The ordinary citizen pays up for no benefit at all, exactly like the effect of subsidies for other renewables.

      141

    • #
      Hasbeen

      You only have to look at Beatties 6 billion water grid to see how much payola a Labor government can generate, with our money.

      Even then they can’t actually do anything useful. That water grid is only capable as built of pumping Gold coast water to Brisbane, but not Wivenhoe water to the Gold Coast

      70

    • #
      Kalifornia Kook

      Lionell, I don’t really believe it is malevolence. I truly believe these folks just don’t have the scientific background nor the analytical ability to realize that what they want is not rational because of cost and space concerns. They’ve been scared away from nuclear because of ‘documentaries’ like China Syndrome, and the tens of thousands of deaths at Fukushima. (OK, those were actually from the tsunami, but who cares?) Some otherwise unknown scientist has declared that over one million people died from Chernobyl. It is hard to argue these established ‘facts’ with people educated by Twitter or Facebook. The same for our political leaders. Their primary interest is re-election, and personal profit from side deals. That’s not really malevolent – it is just not understood by the electorate. For some reason, we believe our leaders have OUR best interests at heart, not theirs. That’s especially true here in the US where we Have Nancy Pelosi giving speeches everyday where she makes it clear that the financial needs of her constituents are at the very bottom of her interests. But most politicians are more discreet about such goals.

      10

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Perhaps the USA could loan out Donald Trump for a week or two.
    Send me a case of Penfolds Grange and I’ll make that phone call for you.

    I read a little about the “The Palaszuczuk government” but OZ politics is way too complicated for me.
    Suggest “follow the money.”

    231

    • #
      PeterS

      I prefer the idea that Australia becomes another state of the US. The other alternative is we become another province of China. Take your pick. It would be an interesting test on the public if there was a referendum to ask which one the people prefer. It would be very revealing.

      157

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘It would be very revealing.’

        After a hundred years of propaganda out of Hollywood we are in their pocket, but do we have to carry guns?

        China is our biggest trading partner, should Australia quit the American Alliance?

        31

        • #
          PeterS

          Being taken over by either is not ideal but if given the choice of just those two options, being under the US is clearly the preferred one despite it’s massive failings and eventual downfall. China will fall one day too and it won’t be pretty. If there’s a third option I would look into it but at the moment I can’t see one.

          95

          • #
            el gordo

            A strong centre right government in Australia would be best in the short term, to stand up to Beijing, but at the same time we should think about quitting the Alliance.

            We have this lingering xenophobia which needs to be dispelled.

            51

            • #
              PeterS

              Ideally quitting the alliance would be great but unfortunately that requires a government lead by a Trump-like leader who thinks nationalistic. The problem we face is this nation now hates nationalists more than they hate communists.

              86

              • #
                WXcycles

                You paint yourself as an Australian ‘Nationalist’, then state and also promote the idea of Australia to become an (involuntary) imperial appendage of a foreign superpower, just because they can, and that we should go along with it because one is “preferrable” over the other, as after all, it’s an inescapable (false) dilemma, for Australia, but not for any of hundreds of other countries.

                Political povocateur drivel.

                Hypocrite
                noun
                a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

                51

              • #

                WX… leave Peter, he has these problems. He is not the only one to raise false dilemmas (ie straw men) in order to shoot them down with a personal belief.

                51

              • #
                el gordo

                I have cognitive dissonance, do I qualify as someone with ‘false dilemma’ syndrome?

                40

            • #
              Latus Dextro

              Centre-Right on today’s political spectrum is characterised as alt-Right by the crazed Left. The politicisation of everything is the toxic norm. Politics used to concern itself with the size and control of government from fascism at one end and libertarianism at the other. That vertical axis has been supplanted by a Left – Right axis, ruthlessly and tribally applied to every issue, animal, vegetable and mineral. “Politics” has been reduced to bite-sized issues. If support gays and same sex ‘marriage’, you’re Left. If you support gun control you’re Left. If you support drilling and fossssiilll fuels, you’re Right. Latte and frappe CBD dwellers define armchair Leftists. Academics and the MSM are narcissistic Leftists. If you believe in (undefined) ‘climate change’ you’re Left. If you like sharp kitchen knives, you’re Right. If you’re a vegetarian you’re clearly Left, unless you also like Brussel sprouts, in which case you’re a secular globalist. The descent into tribalism is like all nightmares, unwanted, destructive, nihilistic, reductionistic and anti-intellectual. And it is the result of a Leftist standard Alinsky approach adopted by academia and the MSM, insult and demonisation that replaced discourse, rational engagement, evidence and disagreement. May be that’s why most have thrown in the towel when it comes to what is euphemistically and weakly referred to as ‘politics’, that constant striving to appear to be all things to all people that can never be reconciled to the reality of being nothing of substance to anyone. That is one very good reason why POTUS Trump succeeded. He’s authentic.

              30

          • #
            WXcycles

            Peter, you’re just full of false-dilemmas.

            Australia is nowhere near as insecure as you keep asserting (for political-provocateuring reasons). We don’t have to make the false choices you keep pushing.

            91

          • #
            Hanrahan

            Australia must distance itself from China at all costs. If Trump lasts out two terms there is no reason we should break the alliance but if ever the US returns to the bad old days of Bushes, Clinton and Obama style administrations we must go it alone. In that case we will just have to get used to high defence spending and we should do joint projects with Israel who know how to get the most bang for defence buck. That’s reasonable since it is said they are the highest IQ race.

            30

            • #
              el gordo

              ‘Australia must distance itself from China at all costs.’

              That is a bit tricky, they are our biggest trading partner.

              I suggest we quit the American Alliance and become non-aligned, save $20 billion a year by not wasting money on unnecessary defence.

              On the other hand, the bipartisan new laws to stop other nations (presumably China) interfering in Australian politics is a good move, Beijing needs to be educated on how democracies work.

              00

        • #
          glen Michel

          It seems that we cannot get the job done by ourselves. Pacific HWY incomplete 2018 and way over budget.Poor spending outcomes in Health,education and Defence.We still have unsealed secondary roads in our district,and our sealed ones are patchwork with collapsing shoulders;bridges single thoroughfare in many instances. Our polity in general is venal and without a care for the Nation. Don’t mention the submarines.

          40

      • #
        Kalifornia Kook

        I really like you guys, but we really don’t need another liberal state. Someone like a Trump would never be a possibility in Australia. You like big government, and don’t have a desire for protection from your government. Except for our city folk, we don’t like government telling us what we can and can’t do unless it is within the bounds of the Constitution and its Amendments.
        Really, you’re a great country, but lets strive for diversity! Under one rule, that would disappear. We’d all be governed by the stupid without any constraints. Our cities have no problem ignoring the Constitution (See California and New York for hundreds of examples). You don’t want your country being governed by the likes of Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo. You have enough of that already.

        10

    • #
      Kalifornia Kook

      No chance of loaning Trump out – at least for another 6.5 years. He has done a lot, but there is too much left to do. We’re a bigger country, and have converted megatons of stupidity into regulations that have to be fixed. The idiocy here runs deep, and will take a long time to undo.

      10

  • #
    Just Thinkin'

    Absolute insanity….

    From people who don’t care a damn about
    anyone outside their sphere of influence…

    71

    • #
      PeterS

      That would include the vast majority of voters since up to now roughly half don’t give a damn if LNP forms a majority government and roughly the other half don’t give a damn if ALP+Greens forms a majority government. The next federal election will be very revealing. Eitehr the same trend continues or something different happens.

      51

  • #
    Mark M

    Northern quolls once lived across a wide swath of northern Australia including Queensland.

    Turns out emitting trace gas (CO2) in northern Queensland is a truly lousy way of causing northern quolls to become extinct and stay extinct …

    This endangered Australian marsupial was set to make a comeback—until it stopped fearing wild dogs.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/endangered-australian-marsupial-was-set-make-comeback-until-it-stopped-fearing-wild

    41

  • #
    Pauly

    Perhaps it is time we started to use “law fare” in the same way the ecoterrorists/ecommunistas do? How about a Freedom of Information request to start with, just to get the details of those contracts that have already been signed? The Queensland government can’t hide behind Commercial-in-Confidence concerns for deals that are signed off. If they refuse to provide the information, they may then be in breach of the FOI laws.

    72

    • #
      PeterS

      Don’t you get it? We are a democracy on for one day every so many years. At all other times in between the elections we are a dictatorship. Our two-party system mandates that, as distinct from other democratic nations like the US where elected representatives can vote according to their conscious and the people in the electorate they represent and not along the dictatorial party line. If we are to have true representative democracy we need to smash the stranglehold that either major party can have on this nation. The only way we can do that at the moment, other than becoming a suit bale republic, which is too far away even to think about, is to support say the ACP and ON parties to hold the balance of power. It’s the closest we can get to a true representative democracy for now. Otherwise, forget it and enjoy as best you can our non-representative dictatorships as one or the other major party takes their turn.

      70

  • #
    Ruairi

    Secret subsidies paid underhand,
    By the government of sunny Queensland,
    To give solar capacity,
    An unearned veracity,
    Which their climate-change masters demand.

    160

  • #
    PeterS

    The state is aiming for a miraculous 50% renewables. Ponder the brave task ahead. To be 50% renewable, Queensland needs to generate more like 3,500MW on average with the unreliables, and that’s after capacity factors are taken into account.

    Has anyone estimated the cost of achieving such a goal?

    70

    • #
      Roger

      Bankruptcy will be the cost.

      90

      • #
        PeterS

        Yes I know. I was just wondering out of interest. I would say it would be in the trillions given batteries must be included but that’s only a guess.

        30

    • #

      I recall Tony came up with $65 billion to achieve the 50%, but I suspect the grid would crash before that. We are even getting wind farms in a State with either very little wind or far too much.

      50

      • #
        PeterS

        That cost clearly does not take into account the need for massive battery farms to provide backup power over very long periods of very low or zero solar and wind power, and obviate the need for fossil based backups that would cancel out the 50% renewable goal. The assumption too often being made is their will never be a need to provide continuous backup power for days if not at least a week a number of times throughout the year. As TonyfromOz demonstrated we can get away with it for now due to the high reliance of the shared grid infrastructure across most of the states but I doubt that will still be the case in the future as more and more states try to achieve 50% renewables. What would be nice is if one of the states keeps using coal and refuses to go down the renewables road in a big way while all the other states do go down that road. Then the companies running the coal fired power stations in that lone sate can charge like a wounded bull when selling across the borders. If I was them I would charge a million per kWh to teach the other states a lesson. Of course things don’t work out that way but I’m just making the point this all has to end in tears eventually if we continue down the insane road of closing down more and more coal fired power stations.

        70

        • #
          el gordo

          Here you see capitalism with an inhuman face.

          ‘AGL has followed the lead of Origin and will cut its electricity prices in Queensland from July 1.

          ‘Queensland residential bills will fall by 1.6 per cent and business customers will get a cut of 1 per cent. Gas prices will be unchanged.

          ‘The cuts would barely offset big increases made by AGL and others this time last year.’

          News

          40

      • #
        WXcycles

        Exactly Martin,

        Yesterday Channel 7 Townsville was banging on about a $200 mill, “first in dah world”, (which it isn’t) combined Wind/Solar/Battery (Tesla again) “energy-farm” … in Hughenden, QLD.

        I’ve been to Hughenden, many times, but I do not ever recall seeing the wind blow in Hughenden, the place is typically very still.

        Nevertheless, yesterday at the Townsville port, dock cranes were unloading the individual 70 m long blades paid for by QLD tax-payer backing, for the energy-farmer turbines. But it’s OK, there are subsidised solar panels for that event. Oh … and it has a battery … for when neither work (>50% of the time).

        ” … guaranteeing subsidies to solar companies that do not ­appear on [QLD Govt] balance sheets.” — Jo

        I bet its’ electrical output “revolution” will not be broadcast either.

        Kennedy Energy Park

        “43 MW of wind | 15 MW of solar panels | 2MW/4MWh of battery storage.”

        https://kennedyenergypark.com.au/

        It’s in the Federal seat of Kennedy, situated right beside some of the biggest proven high-grade coal-measures on this planet.

        ” … The site takes advantage of the highly complementary nature of the wind and solar resource at this location and will supply energy to the grid with reliability never before seen in the Australian renewable industry. … ”

        I confidently predict it will be nothing of the kind, and that there will be zero accountability in the QLD Govt, or local Flinders Shire Council.

        But they have saved dah whirled–that didn’t even need saving.

        92

        • #
          Hanrahan

          I’ve been to Hughenden, many times, but I do not ever recall seeing the wind blow in Hughenden, the place is typically very still.

          I thought it was well known that there is not as much wind in the tropics as the higher/lower lats.

          I keep an eye on this site:
          https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=136.32,-10.44,448
          It is typical with little wind in the west, what wind there is typically blows parallel with the coast so you would need offshore windmills, but can they erect them in GBR waters? ATM we can’t even dredge a harbour.

          40

  • #
    el gordo

    Some good news at last.

    ‘Canberrans are going to feel the pain of heating their homes this winter, after the independent regulator decided on a 12 per cent price hike in electricity prices for the next financial year.’

    Weatherzone

    211

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      So much for being 100% supplied by renewables and insulated** from price rises.

      And how come their electricity is costing more when we’ve heard from (Canberra) politicians that the cost will be dropping soon?

      ** No pun intended. They aren’t insulated but isolated from reality in Canberra.

      190

  • #
    TdeF

    Remember, all these State Government subsidies and secret massive payments to smelters for example are in addition to the RET.
    So as well as loading your electricity bills with payments to anyone prepared to build windmills or install solar panels, you are paying to keep industries going which would close with the high cost of electricity?

    Your State taxes have become gifts to overseas companies to run businesses which cannot make a profit even with the world’s highest electricity prices. South Australian taxpayers are paying the cost of Elon Musk’s battery and the Massive Diesel generators now installed. Tasmania is paying $11million a month for rented diesel generators.

    All to pretend they can run on the wind and sunshine, when simple arithmetic says they cannot. This is what happens when you let innumerate, science ignorant agenda driven politicians run real engineering projects. When everything fails miserably as it always does, the truth is buried under tons of your money.

    Turnbull’s absurd Ruddesque Snowy II is perhaps the most egregious project of them all without any idea that it will be worth doing anything and the billions are being committed today. More wind farms, more water being pumped uphill, more batteries, more diesel generators. All to meet our ‘international obligations’ to the Chinese.

    161

    • #
      Ian1946

      Turnbull is starting to make Rudd look good.

      140

    • #
      David Maddison

      Snow II will be like the Big Battery only worse. They will conduct arbitrage by using cheap coal power to pump water uphill (with about ten percent power losses going up and another ten percent going down) then sell power when prices are high when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine plus in addition they’ll collect renewable energy credits because even though it is only a battery I’m willing to bet the power from discharge will be counted as new generation.

      101

      • #
        Hanrahan

        David, Snowy II is much maligned, but it isn’t all bad. I don’t have a ballpark figure on how much it would cost but contrary to commonly held belief it will not use excess unreliables to pump water uphill but it will, as you say, use thermal power, thus smoothing their demand and improving their economics. That is a good thing.

        10

        • #
          bobl

          Debateable whether those benefits exceed the stupendous cost. It’s much maligned because it is economic nonsense and more political virtue signalling than actual benefits. David, the problem here is that the energy to pump uphill equals potential energy in the top dam – potential energy in the bottom dam while the energy on the way down is the PE of the top dam – the potential energy at the Height of the turbine which has to be above the lower dam so the water can clear the turbine and not impose any back pressure even though it is moving more slowly.

          The energy is actually generated from mass flow (1/2 mv^2) and just like a wind turbine you can’t extract ALL the energy otherwise the water would have to go from full speed before to stationary after the turbine, that can’t happen because the water would “pile up” behind the turbine if it was stationary at the turbine outlet. Put another way, to generate maximum energy you need to clear water after the turbine as fast as it is coming in in spite of it being slowed by the turbine.

          So while the electrical losses from pumping and conversion losses might be 20% the hydraulic losses are just as significant. In practise I don’t think the thing would ever be more than 60% efficient.

          20

        • #
          beowulf

          Hanrahan

          Stop and think about it mate. Fifteen years ago we had more coal power stations than now and virtually no renewables. All those coal power stations didn’t need Snowy 2 to run efficiently, they did quite well with Snowy 1, so why should less coal power stations now require more pumped hydro? We don’t need no damned Snowy 2! It is con.

          10

    • #
      John in Oz

      TdeF – too true.

      To add insult to injury, the pollies advocating these crazy plans and spending our money chasing rainbows merely leave politics and are never held to account for their failings.

      Almost makes one wish for the return of the Salem witch trials so we can accuse them of generating energy out of thin air. That might make them a little more circumspect in their claims of saving the Earth.

      40

    • #
      WXcycles

      Saving a planet is expensive. It’s this, or extinguish humans. Now, how will you be paying your bill, Sir?

      “Stand and deliver!”

      Just like the good ol’ days.

      61

  • #
    Ian1946

    Queenslanders threw away the chance to make the State prosper. Campbell Newman was doing a great job reducing the Public Service and improving front line services. He also cracked down on the Bikie gangs thereby reducing crime. He also completed 2 level crossing removals on time and under budget by excluding unions from the projects.

    People responded by putting Labor back in office to complete the destruction of the State.

    201

    • #
      WXcycles

      Queenslanders much prefer gigantic deficits and massive interest payments to usurers (user-ers?), than funding functional public services, or paying as you go.

      81

    • #
      Hanrahan

      I was shocked that we dumped Newman the way we did. The unions used scare tactics about selling gov. enterprises, conveniently sidestepping the fact that Captain Bligh sold the profitable QRNational.

      Sadly, we get the gov. we deserve.

      OT Newman brought in voter ID for state elections. The first thing Plukkaduck did was to reverse this. Why?

      20

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      Here’s another thing you have to remember about Queenslanders.
      They had a state referendum asking everyone if they wanted to reduce the frequency of feedback from the governed from one election every 3 years to one election only every 4 years.
      They voted 53% in favour of this plan.
      Reduced oversight of government. Brilliant. /s
      No wonder the current Pallychook regime thinks it has a green light to spend taxpayer money on solar subsidies without public oversight. Queenslanders voted themselves further out of the feedback loop, and then they wonder why they’re not in the loop.

      10

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Try to figure out a situation where the Taxpayers are winning, but the government doesn’t want to say so.’

    Clearly a lack of due diligence by government and not unlike the fiasco of desalination plants which were built on a flawed premise.

    80

    • #
      WXcycles

      Precautionary principle!

      You’ve got to make sure people don’t make the wrong choices. Think of the children.

      61

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      yarpos

      Doesnt really matter why the desals were built, they were always going to be built, it was just the timing that was really up for debate. With no limits on population and no possibility of new dams, desal was always going to be part of the water works.

      20

  • #

    Basically it’s like setting up a tiny craft brewery (organic hops, organic conversion barley) next to a Carlton & United Brewery….then tipping the expensive stuff into a mix with the mass production stuff.

    Never mind the doubters, Palace Chook. People once thought Steven Seagal would never win the oscar for best actor and that Katoomba would never host the Winter Olympics. You go, girl.

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    David Maddison

    How can they meet 50% unreliables by 2030?

    In 12 years virtually every piece of unreliable generating capacity they have today will be at the end of their short service lives (compared to coal and nuclear generators which run for many decades). They’ll never catch up.

    In addition, the 50% figure is untrue in any case because they always quote nameplate capacity, not the average generation which is one third or less and the wildly fluctuating power is useless and of no genuine economic value anyway (in a free market).

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    • #
      PeterS

      When more and more coal fired power stations are closed down and we are left being so close to the danger line that a few days of near zero solar and wind power across much of the states leads to whole regions being blacked out for days on end. I wonder how long it would take to restart a coal fired power station once it has been closed down, assuming they haven’t been blown up.

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      • #
        David Maddison

        I don’t think they mothball coal power stations any more, they just blow them up or demolish them to deliberately put them permanently out of service. The objective of our vermin politicians is to destroy the economy by expensive electricity. The other weapon being used is the deliberate importation into our and other civilised countries of some of the world’s most uneducated, violent, unassimilable and unemployable people.

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      • #
        David Maddison

        QUOTE:

        ‘Zero’ chance Hazelwood power station will ever reopen, one year on from its closure

        The Victorian Coalition had entertained the possibility of reopening the plant to make up some of the shortfall in the National Electricity Market until other options were available.

        But Engie’s station director for the rehabilitation project, Wayne Buckley, said there was now “zero” chance of that happening because the station was “completely inert”.

        http://amp.abc.net.au/article/9550498

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      • #
        el gordo

        Redbank Power Station in the Hunter Valley is ready to startup.

        40

    • #
      John in Oz

      They can meet the 50% figure by reducing the amount of power available or required.

      Destroying industry goes a long way to achieving this and they have made a good start already in this regard.

      The other is to set a reduced value for how much power is generated then let the populace suffer the consequences.

      The only numbers the pollies mention is the percentage of renewables they are aiming for, never the actual power figure the percentage relates to.

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  • #
    tom0mason

    Jo,

    In your remark “The state is aiming for a miraculous 50% renewables. Ponder the brave task ahead.”

    I assume you are using the word ‘brave’ in the bureaucratic sense…
    e.g.
    Precipitating possible unforeseen repercussions of personal career trajectory altering implication, eventuating a rapid diminution of ministerial responsibilities and impeding electability, or the intense bureaucratic pursuance of a significant replacement individual.

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  • #
    Robber

    Come on, surely there is a whistleblower out there somewhere who can spill the beans on what these latest proposals will cost.
    To take one example: Genex Kidston Solar Installation located on the tailings storage facility of the closed Kidston Gold Mine in far north Qld went live in Nov 2017 – per their website – 50 MW capacity, 33% Capacity factor assumed, 145,000 MWhr annual production, 30 year life, 540,000 panels, project cost $115 million including $8.9 million grant from Federal government ARENA. Project finance underpinned by 20-yr QLD Gov Support Deed.

    So let’s do some sums. Qld wholesale price this year $73/MWhr, so annual income taking their optimistic (?) 145,000 Mwhr production equals $10.6 million.
    But what are the operating costs? Assume maintenance of 2% of capital equals $2.3 million pa. Capital needs to be written down to scrap value over 30 years, so annual cost $2.8 million. No indication of how many staff are employed, but let’s assume an allocation of $1 million.
    That gives total annual costs of $6.1 million leaving net income of $4.5 million for a return on investment of 3.9%.

    Ah, but wait, we now have to factor in the “Qld govt support deed”. For starters I would assume that it is intended to guarantee income equivalent to the current sale of renewable energy certificates, currently worth about $85/Mwhr. That would be equal to an annual payment of $12.3 million, pushing up net income to $16.8 million and an ROI of 14.6%.

    Conclusion: On these assumptions, Qld govt support deed could be taking a marginal investment earning 3.9% pa without subsidies to a guaranteed 14.6% return.

    Genex Power Limited is an Australian publicly listed company on the ASX. It has further plans at Kidston for 250 MW pumped hydro, 270 MW solar, and 150 MW wind, presumably all backed by Qld govt guarantees.

    100

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Robber:

      If they can get 33% Capacity Factor from solar PV panels then they should be spruiking their expertise world wide, apart from that of separating politicians from taxpayers money which is already a finely developed activity in a number of countries.
      But whatever the conditions you can be certain that the developers are protected from a drop in the electricity price and/or a drop in value of the RET certificates.

      50

      • #
        Robber

        Ah, but it’s FNQ – doesn’t the sun always shine up there? Tony?

        10

        • #
          bobl

          33% CF implies 8 hrs of full generating sunshine 365 days a year from a Solar Farm built in a location that has seen 3 cyclones in the last 20 years… Yup I give it zero chance, after the next Cyclone its CF will be 0.00%

          20

          • #
            bobl

            For those that care – go to http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/tracks/index.shtml

            Select Start 1995/96, End 2015/16, Filter by location = On, Choose Cairns and 500km giving most of the cyclone tracks coming from the gulf toward the east or from the east coast going west for 20 years.

            Kidston Gold Mine is about 1/3 of the way from Townsville to Cairns and about 40% of the distance between the east coast and a line drawn south from the western gulf coast

            The Map you will get here shows just why renewable energy should NOT be built in FNQ.

            10

      • #
        Robber

        Another way of calculating costs of electricity from Genex Kidston Solar Farm in far north Qld.
        Capital Cost $115 million for 50 MW nameplate capacity. But they did get a $9.8 million grant from Federal govt ARENA fund.
        Allow 10% ROI, annual cost $11.5 million
        Writeoff capital over 30 years $3.8 million pa
        Maintenance assume 2% of capital $2.3 million pa
        Labour assume $1 million pa.
        Total annual costs = $18.6 million
        Assuming optimistic 33% capacity factor, generation = 145,000 MWhr/year gives unit electricity cost of $128/MWhr.
        Or if capacity factor is 25%, generation = 110,000 MWhr/year gives unit electricity cost of $169/MWhr
        Dr Finkel has reported the cost of large scale solar PV as $91/Mwhr without backup, $138 with 3 hours backup, $172 with 12 hours backup. Renew Energy reports typical solar costs as $110-120/MWhr without backup.
        If the ROI is reduced from 10% to 6% (low risk because of government guarantees) unit electricity cost becomes $97/MWhr @ 33% CF, or $127/MWhr @ 25% CF.
        Current Qld wholesale electricity price $73/MWhr.
        Clearly the biggest factors in renewables investment decisions are the required return on capital and the level of government guarantees, both federal and state, on wholesale electricity prices.
        How is 50% renewables target in Qld going to reduce electricity prices, when as well as the renewables investment there also needs to be additional investment in backup?
        Is there any politician or journalist out there ready to ask the tough questions, and is there any minister ready to provide honest answers?

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  • #
    RickWill

    I have worked in both uranium and coal mining industries. In my day the largest coal trains carried 7000t. They looked like this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RooSOEpjdQ

    An interesting feature of uranium is the energy density. The comparison that I was given compared one drum of yellowcake with three trains of coal; about 20kt.
    http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/c5fbed2f-575a-41bb-886e-f26700d43255-2060×1236-2.jpeg

    Then I realised just how mindless successive governments in South Australia have been over the last 30 years. The annual export of uranium from South Australia could provide 193TWh of electricity. Essentially the entire load of the NEM. So SA could be the reliable power generator for the whole of Australia including WA. But instead the state has encouraged investment of billions on wind generators and are is still importing power directly from Victoria as well as gas from Victoria.

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    DaveR

    “Government concealing financial support”
    “Guaranteed subsidies”
    “Off balance sheet”
    “Taxpayers not told”

    Sound like time a barrage of FOI requests is needed, for this “open” and “responsible” Palaszuczuk government.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      Well, at least they are not totally corrupt to the core, like Joh Bjelke-Petersen was … oh, wait

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      • #
        PeterS

        Using your own words, you’re just full of false-dilemmas.

        15

      • #
        Hanrahan

        Joh ran the state well. We were the only state with a free hospital system, he was the first to do away with inheritance tax, ran a low tax state generally and the only gambling tax was the state run Golden Casket. He was the prime mover to get mines and power stations going to power metal refineries. SA has as much minerals as Qld but they have never had someone to enable development of the mines.

        Joh took a couple of favours from Theiss but his big problem was being blind to his corrupt ministers. BTW being young at the time I disliked him. It is only when I have seen pathetic, incompetent state governments come and go that I have learned to appreciate him.

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  • #
    TdeF

    At ANU we see the unreasoning hatred of anything conservative, British, white, rational, Christian from the ancient Greek philosphers to Winston Churchill. Courses in such evil ideas are banned to preserve academic independence? The centre for Islamic studies funded with millions from Iran, Turkey and the Emirates is quite acceptable.

    So the student Union idea of diversity is shutting out the entire of Western history, economy, philosophy and simultaneously glorifying everything else.

    Such extremists have included CO2, carbon dioxide as one of the passionate hates, commonly called ‘emissions’ as in dangerous emissions or pollution. So the stuff of life is now pollution. All life on earth is now pollution.

    This brainwashing is reflected in the Australian newspaper this morning with an article by a Uranium miner on the new modular truck sized nuclear power stations, 57Mwatt delivered on a truck. 10 of them for 57Mwatt for 570Mwatt and costing $3Billion.

    However the absurd part is when he closes with the argument that nuclear is ‘emissions free’.
    So how bad is the anti CO2 brainwashing when ordinary people use and accept the argument that nuclear radiation is emissions free?

    The extreme left has decided to focus on coal now, having won the battle against Nuclear which is illegal in Australia. So is exploring for gas or opening a new coal mine. It is fascinating to see how the left says nothing about our increasing dependence on imported diesel generators, diesel cars and diesel itself. Apparently NO2, nitrous oxide is not polluting. However the nuclear, gas, petrol, diesel proponents are at least thrilled that only coal is being punished. They know they will be next when the petrol carbon tax returns.

    51

  • #
    TdeF

    At ANU we see the unreasoning hatred of anything conservative, British, white, rational, Christian from the ancient Greek philosphers to Winston Churchill. Courses in such evil ideas are banned to preserve academic independence? The centre for Isl*mic studies funded with millions from Iran, Turkey and the Emirates is quite acceptable.

    So the student Union idea of diversity is shutting out the entire of Western history, economy, philosophy and simultaneously glorifying everything else.

    Such extremists have included CO2, carbon dioxide as one of the passionate hates, commonly called ‘emissions’ as in dangerous emissions or pollution. So the stuff of life is now pollution. All life on earth is now pollution.

    This brainwashing is reflected in the Australian newspaper this morning with an article by a Uranium miner on the new modular truck sized nuclear power stations, 57Mwatt delivered on a truck. 10 of them for 57Mwatt for 570Mwatt and costing $3Billion.

    However the absurd part is when he closes with the argument that nuclear is ‘emissions free’.
    So how bad is the anti CO2 brainwashing when ordinary people use and accept the argument that nuclear radiation is emissions free?

    The extreme left has decided to focus on coal now, having won the battle against Nuclear which is illegal in Australia. So is exploring for gas or opening a new coal mine. It is fascinating to see how the left says nothing about our increasing dependence on imported diesel generators, diesel cars and diesel itself. Apparently NO2, nitrous oxide is not polluting. However the nuclear, gas, petrol, diesel proponents are at least thrilled that only coal is being punished. They know they will be next when the petrol carbon tax returns.

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    • #
      TdeF

      I am in moderation, so I changed one word, Isl*mic. What a commentary on modern society that I can say Christian, Taoist, Buddhist, Mormon, Moonie, Sikh, Orthodox Christian, Coptic, Jehovah’s Witness, Jewish but I cannot say Isl*mic. That is potentially hate speech. I am not being critical of Jo’s moderation software. The other problem I had was the metal ars*nic.

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    TdeF

    As for the idea that a blog on science issues should not mention religion or even politics, when has there been a time when science was not driven by both. Most of the major advances in science came from defence and war and necessity and all war is driven by politics.

    In fact most scientists work in defence. Even the space race which gave us the microchip was a simple cover for the development of multi stage ICBMs. However they also gave us satellites.

    The Russians argue that the space shuttle was also part of the cold war, especially when it dipped low over Moscow.

    However it is not all bad as penicillin was commercialized by President Roosevelt for the D day landings, when 99% of the injured rescued from Normandy survived. Radar gave birth to microwave. So many inventions. Countless. Future US president Joseph Kennedy, veteran of 50 bombing missions over Europe died when the remote control drone with two TV cameras he was piloting towards France blew up before he could jump out. It was to be controlled by the adjacent plane and to be flown into the ground to destroy the incredible German Rail gun installation in France. So the first TV remote drone was used in WW2. Who knew?

    If Western Studies and presumably Western Science is forbidden in the ANU, why is the Isl*amic centre quite acceptable? Why is it acceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons? Why are our politicians spending all our money reducing carbon dioxide. For whom? When did science and philosophy become Green anti Western religions?

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    • #

      Shows how far in controlling free speech and free thought
      the Marxist/Derrida apostles have spread their tentacles in
      what were once open society academies of enquiry and learning.

      50

      • #
        TdeF

        The academic hatred of the democratic state of Israel is amazing. Israel was created by the United Nations from a British Protectorate. It is very small and a direct response to the widescale genocide we now call the Holocaust. All countries agreed and in the collapse of the massive Ottoman empire, it seemed reasonable. 21% of Israel is Arab and perhaps 4% Christian.
        For some reason though, Israel is the deadly enemy of every Australian academic and would be British PM, Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.

        This is the same privileged group which pushes useless windmills, hopelessly inadequate solar and approves taxing us to extinction. Soon the element Carbon will be hate speech too. While they call everyone who disagrees NAZIs, a derogatory term for the Hitler’s socialists, seemingly it is these socialists and communists who are the ones banning books, banning free speech, firing people who disagree and shouting down simple science. The charge of hyprocrisy never worries real hypocrites and anarchists, though why they should draw public service salaries and control the agenda in teaching institutions does worry me.

        I am still flabbergasted with the reports in the Australian that 39% of all US universities do not employ a single Republican. How do they even know that? Are your voting intentions part of the employment process? Or does everyone know to claim they are Democrats just to get a job?

        00

        • #
          TdeF

          The academic hatred of the democratic state of Israel is amazing. Israel was created by the United Nations from a British Protectorate. It is very small and a direct response to the widescale gen*cide we now call the Hol*caust. All countries agreed and in the collapse of the massive Ottoman empire, it seemed reasonable. 21% of Israel is Arab and perhaps 4% Christian.
          For some reason though, Israel is the deadly enemy of every Australian academic and would be British PM, Labor leader Jeremy C*rbyn.

          This is the same privileged group which pushes useless windmills, hopelessly inadequate solar and approves taxing us to extinction. Soon the element Carbon will be hate speech too. While they call everyone who disagrees NAZ*s, a derogatory term for the Hitler’s socialists, seemingly it is these socialists and communists who are the ones banning books, banning free speech, firing people who disagree and shouting down simple science. The charge of hyproc*isy never worries real hypoc*rites and anarchists, though why they should draw public service salaries and control the agenda in teaching institutions does worry me.

          I am still flabbergasted with the reports in the Australian that 39% of all US universities do not employ a single Republican. How do they even know that? Are your voting intentions part of the employment process? Or does everyone know to claim they are Democrats just to get a job?

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            TdeF

            An aside from history. I have read that while the party was the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, it was never the NAZIs. That was a derogatory term for Hitler and his friends. The origin was the image of the typical Bavarian Catholic farm hand commonly called Ignatius. So it was funny to call them effectively Yokels. I doubt you would have survived calling a storm trooper a NAZI.

            The NAZIs were proud socialists and immediately banned every other party, arrested and jailed the communists in the new concentration camps as used by Stalin and burned the books and set about successfully destroying their country and every other country like good anarchists. They started though by educating the young, controlling the agenda in schools, just like our socialist academics and their agendas now reaching into primary schools under the cover of Safe Schools. Of course it is not about safe schools. Children are being taught the new science that carbon is pollution and only solar panels and windmills can save us.

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            • #
              TdeF

              The irony is that they call everyone else NAZIs when they are the ones with the strong anti Semitic agenda, anti free speech policies and control the education agenda from schools to university. Climate Change is just a nonsense argument to wreck the joint. Global Warming is not true and man made Global Warming demonstrably false. Green propaganda says otherwise in every school and parliament.

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            OriginalSteve

            Well, Israel has land given it inperpituity by God, so everyone who rails against Israel rails against God.

            Living proof hatred can clise off intelligent peoples minds.

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        S£T£N has a good grip on our world.

        50

        • #
          TdeF

          Not sure about that. This is communism, disguised as socialism, masquerading as environmentalism. Democratic societies are always under attack from within, from migrants how have no intention of contributing and anarchists posing as academics who decide the world would be a better place if they ran it. Like politicians. Then of course real professional communists like Lee Rhiannon and Adam Bandt. Why we accept them as paid democratic politicians amazes me. If they were in charge, no one else would be allowed make a decision.

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    • #
      WXcycles

      The Germans had a working TV-guided anti-ship smart-bomb by the end of WWII, which is why the US navy fielded a cruiser with anti-aircraft SAM missiles, in 1947. Our TV “Logie Awards”, are named after a Scottish guy named;

      “John Logie Baird …
      13 August 1888 – 14 June 1946) was a Scottish engineer, innovator, one of the inventors of the mechanical television, demonstrating the first working television system on 26 January 1926, and inventor of both the first publicly demonstrated colour television system, and the first purely electronic colour television picture tube.”

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Logie_Baird

      TV technology was already 15 years old in the middle of WWII.

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      • #
        TdeF

        Yes, but the fact that the Americans used TV to fly pilotless drones was news to me. I always wondered what happened to Joseph Kennedy too, scion of the Kennedy clan. I did know he did not come home, but this mission was cutting edge technology and it failed because of a bad electronic mechanism on the bomb arming device. The pin was in place when the bomb exploded over Kent and he was evaporated.

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  • #
    yarpos

    You have to think the QLD pollies are either stupid or are perhaps being disingenious when considered nameplate vs real capacity.

    They have a 50% goal by a target date. Someone would have had to have presented a roadmap and high level budget to get there. Absent game playing, it should be blindingly obvious that it will be a financial and service delivery disaster.

    Still I shouldnt be surprised, we still have the VIC Energy Minister parroting here “renewables put downward pressure on energy prices line” at each projects photo opportunity. She should explain that to the Chinese, they appear to have not gotten the memo.

    50

  • #

    See where Joanne mentions this in her main text: (my bolding here)

    Ponder the brave task ahead. To be 50% renewable, Queensland needs to generate more like 3,500MW on average with the unreliables, and that’s after capacity factors are taken into account.

    That’s half the average power consumption, but to achieve that 50%, then if that 3500MW (after Capacity Factor) is to make up 50%, then to do that, they would have to shut down 3500MW of coal fired power generation, and one of the main findings of the Inquiry was that in that time frame, they will NOT be closing any coal fired plants.

    See now how they can NEVER reach that 50% target.

    Tony.

    60

    • #
      yarpos

      If they play the nameplate game they are so fond off, I am sure they can get to that 2030 ABC fluff piece they seem to desperately desire.

      30

  • #
    pat

    a reminder of more taxpayer money well-spent!

    …and the promised manufacturing jobs may never happen. no wonder Macron came a-courting. watch the clip:

    VIDEO: 1min54secs: Channel 10: New Submarine Fleet Building Cost Blow-Out
    Work building Australia’s new submarine fleet hasn’t even begun and already there’s predictions the cost could blow-out to $200 billion – 4-times the original estimate…
    https://tenplay.com.au/news/national/2018/6/7/new-submarine-fleet-building-cost-blow-out

    we’re in for $17 billion worth of F-35s, plus billions to maintain them annually!

    7 Jun: Popular Mechanics: Pentagon Agrees to Fix the F-35′s Many Problems Before Full Production
    The high-tech fighter has 966 “open deficiencies”—otherwise known as defects.
    By Kyle Mizokami
    The Pentagon has agreed to fix a litany of problems with the F-35 before moving to full production of the controversial jet.
    The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, nicknamed “Panther” by pilots, is on the verge of going into full production. Yet even now the jet has nearly a thousand “deficiencies.” In response to a General Accounting Office report, the Pentagon has promised to fix the most critical deficiencies plaguing the plane…

    In its report on the F-35, the GAO warned, “In its rush to cross the finish line, the (F-35 Joint Program Office) has made some decisions that are likely to affect aircraft performance and reliability and maintainability for years to come.” As Bloomberg (LINK) explains:

    “The GAO report broke down the shortfalls into two categories: Category 1 deficiencies are defined as ‘those that could jeopardize safety, security, or another critical requirement,’ while Category 2 deficiencies ‘are those that could impede or constrain successful mission accomplishment.’ The report cited 111 Category 1 and 855 Category 2 deficiencies.”…

    The F-35 program is the most expensive Department of Defense procurement program ever, with a total lifetime price tag of approximately $1.5 trillion…
    Currently, the U.S. military and foreign allies are buying F-35s at a rate of about 70 a month. Once the plane is declared operational however the number of planes will shoot up to more than 100 a month. The GAO worries that, unless the Category 1 and 2 deficiencies are resolved before full rate production the number of planes that will need fixes will skyrocket, as will the costs and complexity of fixing them.
    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a21098498/f-35-problems-fix-before-production/

    the disastrous NBN? – $50/60 billion.
    of course, that doesn’t count. because it will be sold off to the private sector at a profit (hopefully).

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    • #
      yarpos

      “Pentagon Agrees to Fix the F-35′s Many Problems Before Full Production
      The high-tech fighter has 966 “open deficiencies”—otherwise known as defects.”

      Wow! arent they great guys? imagine fixing defects before you go into production! what a concept. This management case study material.

      20

  • #
    pat

    jo – welcome home from your travels.

    while you were away, I posted the following, which is the ONLY MSM coverage of this story that I have found so far. surely this should be common knowledge, the topic of discussion on radio talk shows, etc, as it affects, potentially, hundreds of thousands of households with solar panels:

    1 Jun: SMH: One in five rooftop solar units deficient, official figures show
    By Nicole Hasham
    One in five rooftop solar systems are deficient and thousands of Australians are being denied lower power bills because their household solar delivers less electricity than promised, new data shows…
    The Clean Energy Council, which accredits 5000 solar installers in Australia, cancelled 13 accreditations this financial year and temporarily suspended 153 installers.
    NSW Fair Trading has received 3327 complaints about the photovoltaic industry over the past five years, while Consumer Affairs Victoria received 6436 in the four years to June last year…

    However unpublished data by the Clean Energy Regulator, obtained by Fairfax Media, suggests the technology may not always deliver as promised.
    Of 4140 small-scale solar systems, mostly rooftop units, inspected last year, 822 were “substandard”, meaning they did not meet Australian requirements and may prematurely fail. This equates to almost 20 per cent, compared to 22 per cent the previous year.

    Common problems included installers not using heavy-duty plastic coating to protect wiring, and components being incorrectly mounted or installed. Not all such issues would affect electricity yield.
    About 2 per cent of systems were deemed unsafe, often because water had entered electrical components…
    In Sydney, the worst-performing 25 per cent of systems had electricity yields at least 16 per cent lower than the best-performing 25 per cent of systems. In Melbourne and Brisbane the difference was 13 per cent…

    Sustainability consultant Michael Mobbs, of the inner Sydney suburb of Chippendale, has suffered a string of design and installation problems with his $26,000 rooftop solar and storage system installed in 2015. Monitoring revealed the system was providing just 46 per cent the promised electricity…READ ALL
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/one-in-five-rooftop-solar-units-deficient-official-figures-show-20180601-p4zixo.html

    meanwhile, the solar advocacy continues non-stop:

    Six Townsville suburbs where solar is booming
    Townsville Bulletin-10 hours ago
    Nearmap, an Australian aerial imagery company, paired its high-res imagery with the latest Clean Energy Regulator data…

    South Australia rides renewables boom to become electricity exporter
    The Guardian-4 Jun. 2018

    The rapidly changing dynamics of Australia’s grid
    RenewEconomy-1 Jun. 2018
    (Lead author Hugh Saddler, the latest National Emissions Audit from The Australia Institute):
    “Indeed, the Clean Energy Regulator states that it expects solar to account for half of all (new renewable) capacity by 2020.”…

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    pat

    I have no way of assessing the LENGTHY Vox article’s assertions, but:

    ***A COUPLE OF CRITICISMS ON JUST ONE ASSERTION FROM COMMENTS AT FREE REPUBLIC FORUM:

    Power is not repeatedly “converted from AC to DC and back” on the grid. If someone starts his article with a massive misconception… it is very obvious that the rest of the article is likely to be complete nonsense…

    Only solar goes from DC to AC, and only some wind generators make the AC-DC-AC conversion. IS that inefficient and expensive, with additional complexity and additional points of failure? yes. very.
    All other AC to DC conversion is done by rectifiers in various parts of end-use electronic equipment in the home and industry …

    5 Jun: Vox: This technology could fundamentally change our relationship to electricity
    An “operating system” for power could double the efficiency of the grid.
    By David Roberts
    Much is lost in the initial generation of electricity. And much is lost through the use of inefficient devices, like incandescent light bulbs that heat up a filament to produce light.
    But power is also lost in between, on the grid, as it is carried along hundreds of miles of wires, repeatedly shifted between different voltages, and ***converted from AC to DC and back, all in the split second between the time it enters the grid and the time it powers your computer.
    How much power is lost on the grid?

    The consensus among experts in the field is that most electricity is lost on the two ends, in generation and use, and not that much in between. The Department of Energy estimates that, of 37.7 quads (quadrillion BTUs) of “energy consumed to generate electricity,” 23.24 quads (about 62 percent) is wasted as “conversion losses.” After that, only 0.84 quads (roughly 2.2 percent) is lost or “unaccounted for” in transmission and distribution (T&D)…
    Now a research and development lab-cum-start-up out of North Carolina’s research triangle has begun commercializing a technology it says can measure and manage electricity with a level of accuracy and precision far beyond any existing technology, using a cutting-edge application of real-time computing…

    (SCROLL DOWN)
    (Note: While energy losses converting fossil fuels to steam and then electricity are unavoidable, the same is not true of wind power or solar photovoltaics. Theoretically, SDE could ensure that 100 percent of the energy generated by those sources reaches end users, opening the somewhat utopian possibility of a lossless electricity system. [Correction June 6, 2018: ah, this was a bit of poetic license. Even perfect power will experience resistive losses when traveling through metal wires, so to be precise, SDE could ensure that something like 96 to 98 percent of renewable energy reaches users — a nearly lossless electricity system.])…
    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/6/5/17373314/electricity-technology-efficiency-software-waste-3dfs

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      As you say not something to take seriously. For starters it states:

      And much is lost through the use of inefficient devices, like incandescent light bulbs that heat up a filament to produce light.

      Incandescent bulbs would be limited to the dunny and porches in a modern city.

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  • #
    pat

    7 Jun: Toronto Star: Ontario has given Doug Ford carte blanche to do virtually anything he wants
    By Thomas Walkom
    By electing Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives, a strong plurality of voters have signalled that they are no longer satisfied with the centre-left policies promoted by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats.

    Instead, they are opting for a return to the old-time religion of tax and spending cuts.
    In doing so, they have given Ford carte blanche to do virtually anything he wants.
    Some of the former Toronto councillor’s pledges are known.
    He has promised, for instance, to pull out of the California-Quebec cap and trade system that Wynne’s government joined in order to fight climate change…

    Ford’s victory also spells the beginning of the end of Ontario’s controversial infatuation with renewable energy. The PC leader has said he won’t sign any more wind and solar contracts and will try to renegotiate those that already exist…
    He has said he will fight any attempt by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to levy a carbon tax on Ontario.
    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/06/07/ontario-has-given-doug-ford-carte-blanche-to-do-virtually-anything-he-wants.html

    writer below tries to rationalise why it’s not a tax:

    7 Jun: Macleans: Doug Ford begins his foolhardy, costly fight against carbon pricing in Ontario
    Opinion: Now that the Ontario PCs have earned a majority mandate, Ford is set to see through his vow to scrap a ‘carbon tax’ that isn’t a tax — and potentially sue the feds
    by Justin Ling
    Premier-designate Doug Ford has spent his political career defining himself by what he’s against.
    Elites? Doesn’t care for them. Government waste? Take a hike. The media? Not a fan.

    There are few things, however, that Ford dislikes more than taxes. And there’s one tax that elicits a particular amount of visceral hatred from the Progressive Conservative leader: Carbon taxes…
    He’s promised, over the course of this campaign, to axe the province’s carbon pricing system if he becomes premier He’s called cap-and-trade “the biggest rip-off I’ve ever seen in taxes.” (It’s not a tax.) He’s said it won’t do anything for climate change (which echoes comments from federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.)…

    And now that he’s officially set to become the premier of Ontario—his Ontario Progressive Conservatives having been handed a majority government—it seems unlikely this feat will be any different.
    Ford’s dogmatic crusade against the province’s carbon tax — he kicked off his campaign for leader of his party with a full-throated attack on the pricing scheme — is, of course, fundamentally flawed…READ ON
    https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/doug-ford-begins-his-foolhardy-costly-fight-against-carbon-pricing-in-ontario/

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  • #
    pat

    mark your calendars:

    8 Jun: ClimateChangeNews: 9 key moments on the road to the Cop24 climate talks
    Leaders meeting at the G7 this weekend kick off six months of diplomatic moments that will be decisive in shaping the future of the Paris Agreement
    By Soila Apparicio
    2018 is the most important year of climate talks since the Paris deal was struck. And the first five months have not gone too well…

    The last half of 2018 is littered with meetings that could build or break momentum into those talks. Here are the moments to keep an eye on…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/06/08/9-key-moments-road-cop24-climate-talks/

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  • #
    pat

    the amount of anti-Scott Pruitt MSM coverage in the last 24 hours suggests the CAGW swamp is still desperate to see him gone.

    on the other hand -

    7 Jun: JunkScience: Steve Milloy: More Winning: EPA Administrator Pruitt Proposes Cost-Benefit Analysis Reform
    Thank you, Administrator Scott Pruitt — greatest EPA chief ever.
    Below is the EPA media release and cited Wall Street Journal editorial.
    https://junkscience.com/2018/06/more-winning-epa-administrator-pruitt-proposes-cost-benefit-analysis-reform/

    7 Jun: WUWT: Heartland Institute Provides Science to EPA to Back Up Pruitt’s Climate Change Views
    by Anthony Watts
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/06/heartland-institute-provides-science-to-epa-to-back-up-pruitts-climate-change-views/

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      As they tell us, you cop most flack when you’re over the target and Pruitt is certainly copping plenty, mainly incidental to his main task such as his lease on a unit.

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  • #
    pat

    theirABC’s Nick Harmsen tries his best to spin this bad news for NSW & SA:

    8 Jun: ABC: AGL boosts gas prices while announcing small drop in electricity costs
    By political reporter Nick Harmsen
    Another of Australia’s big three electricity retailers, AGL, has followed competitor Origin Energy in announcing price drops for power across New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
    But the price cuts do not necessarily represent relief for consumers, because they are far less than what official market analysts had been expecting, and are accompanied by price hikes in the cost of gas.
    AGL announced that, based on a weighted average, residential electricity prices would fall on July 1 by 0.3 per cent in New South Wales, 1.5 per cent in Queensland and 0.4 per cent in SA.

    ***However, the cost of household gas will rise in both New South Wales and South Australia, by 1.8 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.
    AGL’s gas price hikes are even more severe for small businesses, at 2.5 per cent in NSW and 4.6 per cent in South Australia.

    The company said the fall in electricity costs was set against rising network and green costs.
    “While these price cuts are slight, they’re part of a downward trend that is emerging as more investment in new sources of supply comes into the market,” said AGL’s chief customer officer Melissa Reynolds…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/agl-electricity-prices-fall-by-far-less-than-predicted/9848830

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  • #
    pat

    Giles finally acknowledges the “blackout” threats…and attempts to debunk:

    7 Jun: RenewEconomy: Giles Parkinson: What’s behind scare campaign on rooftop solar “blackout” threat
    The headlines are screaming again from mainstream media about the threats of blackouts, only this time it is not about having not enough coal, or too much wind, but because of the so-called threat of having too many rooftop solar panels on the grid.

    It began last month with this headline in The West Australian, “Rooftop solar poses blackout threat to WA’s main power grid,”, and was followed on Thursday – following presentations and interviews at the Energy Networks Australia conference in Sydney – by similar headlines in The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.
    Both stories relied on comments from the head of the ENA Andrew Dillon, and the head of energy software company Greensync, Phil Blythe. “Dumb solar threat to grid stability”, said The Australian. “Solar surplus set to overload the grid,” said the SMH, and its Fairfax stable mates…

    It is generally recognised, even by this government, that the energy system is rapidly evolving from a centralised, fossil fuel based grid, to a decentralised, renewable one – a grid that will be faster, cheaper, cleaner and more reliable than the dumb, dirty and ridiculously expensive grid we have now…READ ON
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/whats-behind-scare-campaign-on-rooftop-solar-blackout-threat-78729/

    7 Jun: MarineLink: Clyde Russell: Coal Soars on Rising Demand from Asia
    Depending on the price used, thermal coal is either close to a two-year high or near the strongest in six years as China, India, Japan and South Korea imported more of the polluting fuel in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2017…

    No matter which way the numbers are sliced and diced, the message is the same, namely that coal prices are performing strongly despite the fuel becoming increasingly unpopular in many countries because of its contribution to air pollution and climate change.

    It’s also unusual for the top four Asian importers to be demanding more seaborne coal at the same time, as is currently the case…
    The United States shipped 41.7 million tonnes of coal in the first five months of 2018, with 14.7 million tonnes heading to Asia.
    This is up 14.9 percent from the 36.3 million tonnes it shipped in the same period in 2017, of which 12.1 million went to Asia.

    It’s a similar story for Russia, with total shipments up 9.8 percent, or 7.1 million tonnes, to 79.8 million tonnes, of which 33.2 million tonnes went to Asia, a gain of 11.8 percent…

    What the numbers show is that even though prices are high, and rising, the traditional major exporters are struggling to boost shipments…
    The numbers also show that currently the price of coal is high enough to make U.S. cargoes competitive in Asia, despite the greater cost of freight.
    The bulk of U.S. coal exported to Asia is coking coal used to make steel, but with the thermal price above $100 a tonne, it’s likely that more of the power-station fuel will head east, especially to buyers in South Asia.
    https://www.marinelink.com/news/coal-soars-rising-demand-asia-438316

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  • #
    pat

    7 Jun: CNBC: Goldman Sachs: Solar industry heading for a downturn after major Chinese policy shift
    •Solar manufacturers are about to hit a rough patch as a new Chinese policy is poised to dent demand in the world’s biggest market, Goldman Sachs says.
    •The bank sees a oversupply ballooning this year, cutting the price of solar panels and modules for companies like JinkoSolar and First Solar.
    •However, companies that sell solar arrays to residential customers could reap a benefit from lower component prices, according to Goldman.
    by Tom DiChristopher
    Solar power equipment makers are about to hit a rough patch, and it’s time to sell many stocks in the space, according to Goldman Sachs.

    Demand for solar power equipment is drying up in key markets just as supplies are booming, the investment bank warns. The industry has long been governed by boom-and-bust cycles, and Goldman thinks a looming glut of solar modules is pushing the sector into a downturn.

    “Against this backdrop, we see both volume and pricing risk intensifying in the near-to-medium term, and now forecast 0% average upside across the group,” Goldman said in a research note.
    The catalyst for its downbeat view is last week’s major policy shift in China…

    Goldman now expects a 40-percent drop in sales volumes in China, which accounts for half of the global market for solar modules and other equipment. Heaping more pressure on the industry are anticipated declines in other key markets like Japan, India and the United States, where the Trump administration has dented demand by slapping tariffs on imported solar panels and modules…

    Renewable energy companies have scrapped or suspended plans worth more than $2.5 billion to install solar panels since Trump imposed the tariffs, Reuters reported on Thursday…
    Overall, Goldman anticipates a 24 percent drop in solar installations around the world this year…
    Solar modules and cells will probably fetch about 15 to 30 percent less than they did for manufacturers last year, according to Goldman.
    Those forecasts led Goldman to take a more bearish view of solar manufacturers exposed to the Chinese market and firms throughout the supply chain…READ ON
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/07/the-solar-industry-is-entering-a-downturn-says-goldman-sachs.html

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  • #
    pat

    6 Jun: USA Today: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin regrets endorsing Hillary and is open to backing Trump in 2020
    by William Cummings
    VIDEO: A new poll has President Trump not only gaining on Democrats, but doing better than in the 2016 election. Veuer’s Chandra Lanier has the story.

    West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin is one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators heading into the 2018 midterms and, unlike most members of his party, he is running as someone willing to work with, rather than obstruct, President Donald Trump.

    Manchin, whose state voted for Trump by more than 40 percentage points, told Politico he regretted backing Hillary Clinton in 2016 and said he wouldn’t rule out endorsing the president in the 2020 election over whomever his Democratic opponent turns out to be.

    “I’m open to supporting the person who I think is best for my country and my state,” Manchin said. “If his policies are best, I’ll be right there.”

    Manchin said, “Washington Democrats are making it more difficult for me to be a West Virginia Democrat” and he wishes he had not backed Clinton against Trump. During the campaign, Clinton said as president she would put coal miners and coal companies out of business…
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/06/06/manchin-politico-interview/679684002/

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      The blue wave is rapidly turning into a red tide. If Trump [I'm not calling them republicans, that mob couldn't win a raffle even if they bought all the tickets] gains more seats in the house and senate, heads will explode.

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  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    “guaranteeing subsidies to solar companies…”

    How come they keep these promises, but not the promises they make to the people?

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  • #
    pat

    how many CNN “reporters” does it take to write another hit piece on the President?

    more winning:

    8 Jun: CNN: Trump to skip climate portion of G7 after Twitter spat with Macron and Trudeau
    by Kevin Liptak, Michelle Kosinski and Jeremy Diamond; CNN’s Sophie Tatum contributed to this report
    President Donald Trump plans to depart from this weekend’s Group of 7 summit in Canada several hours early, the White House announced Thursday…
    The White House said Trump would depart mid-morning on Saturday, skipping sessions on climate change and the environment. An aide will take his place, the White House said…

    Even as late as Thursday afternoon, Trump was questioning why he would attend a G7 meeting where he’s outnumbered on key issues like trade and climate change…

    (LOL) Trudeau, as the summit’s host, has placed climate and environmental issues atop his agenda, including a focus on ridding the world’s oceans of plastic waste and making coastal communities more resilient to rising tides. A number of non-G7 leaders were invited to participate, including from Africa and island nations…
    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/07/politics/trump-g7-canada/index.html

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Hey…did you hear Russia offered France to basically leave NATO so Russia could be Frances pritector? Wedge politics at its finest…..

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  • #
    OriginalSteve

    I am nominating renewables as being a Pointless Industry.

    I passed through Gundagai again today. Yet again , what i think a lot of people would consider the worlds most pointless object was no where to be seen despute the “supercharger” sitting there…idle….again….

    Funny…they have rockets now, maybe they could shoot many of thier vehicles into space to collide with and clean up other space junk….

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  • #
    Hanrahan

    It’s not only expensive but impossible to power a modern economy with wind and solar, From WUWT:

    Britain Has Gone Nine Days Without Wind Power

    By Rachel Morison
    7 June 2018, 14:00 GMT+10

    Forecasters see wind output staying low for at least two weeks
    Wind generating 4.3% of U.K. electricity on Wednesday
    Britain’s gone nine days with almost no wind generation, and forecasts show the calm conditions persisting for another two weeks.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/06/prolonged-wind-drought-crushes-british-turbine-output/

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